Topic: What do you think of VR?  (Read 1341 times)

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commandercool

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What do you think of VR?
« on: March 23, 2018, 07:11:15 pm »
I have a buddy who loves VR and has been talking about it a lot recently. I have this impression that it's unnecessary gimmick technology and all of the games are just two-dimensional tech demos or weird ports, but before today I hadn't experienced it much.

I'm at a con right now and I promised my buddy who loves it that I would try VR if there were any demos available. I just tried a Playstation VR demo. The game I played was some kind of ultra-generic science fiction FPS and I hated it. It looked like a 3DS game, it was brutally slow, and it made me so motion sick that I've been sitting down for the last half hour trying to regain my equilibrium. This was a gimped tech demo for sure. I get that I definitely didn't get an optimal experience though.

So does anyone have any VR experience who can weigh in on whether it's a useful design tool or an expensive pointless gimmick? Apparently several other VR products are doing demos this weekend, I'm going to try to plan on going to each of them just for thoroughness, but I'm bailing instantly if I start to get motion sick again.
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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2018, 05:55:10 am »
There was this one I played on an Oculus once that had you on a train and then you got into firefights and stuff, it was actually pretty cool and I'm normally bored by the aesthetic of playing shooters that don't have Metroid in the title somewhere.
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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2018, 07:34:05 am »
Only having used an Oculus for a class final project, I can say that I personally think it would be better if we just made stuff that focused around the headset, rather than requiring you to move your full body.

The headset alone feels like the next step in improved immersion. Imagine trying to play an FPS but it looks like you're actually there, and it feels like the sounds are right there in your ears. You start to forget you have a headset on after a while.

Consider that a decent amount of "I was playing an mmo but got stuck in the game" shows/plots use this as a medium of playing the game, rather than full motion controls. I can't imagine how wacky it would be trying to play anything intense without like, a gymnasium's worth of space around you to prevent unfortunate collision. This option also likely won't give anyone motion sickness.

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 07:44:30 am »
I've had... varying experiences with PSVR. Some games, like Statik: Institute of Retention and I Expect You to Die; they were immersive experiences I really enjoyed playing in VR. On the other hand, I get medium motion sickness playing RIGS and light sickness playing EVE: Valkyrie (which might be a bad portent considering I'm hype for Ace Combat 7); and games like Farpoint and Archangel kind of feel like the VR was tacked on, even though both of them are basically made for VR.

Consider that a decent amount of "I was playing an mmo but got stuck in the game" shows/plots use this as a medium of playing the game, rather than full motion controls. I can't imagine how wacky it would be trying to play anything intense without like, a gymnasium's worth of space around you to prevent unfortunate collision. This option also likely won't give anyone motion sickness.
I know movement rigs exist for full-body motion; I remember seeing one a while back used to play TF2 and I've seen a couple on Kickstarter years ago.
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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 08:11:29 am »
I never got to try vr. once it had a demo display thing at Best buy... and it didn't work. sigh.

Anyway, just based on my intuition, I imagine it's not a gimmick in of itself, but most of its content will be like that. However, racing games that support it likely benefit greatly, as do horror games I imagine (real horror games, not vr-specific horror games).

I think VR is still something that can greatly improve with new generations, kinda like digital cameras.

At the very least I think they are just plain practical once they become 'easy' technology to make of decent quality. There will be no need for you to get some big fancy 28 inch monitor for your gaming computer when you can have the same field of view (better actually) by sticking a smaller screen on your face, not to mention I imagine the cost of materials for making a smaller on your face OLED display or whatever the new hotness will be will cost less than making a giant OLED panel or whatever.

Last time I went to shoppers drug mart I saw one of those cheap phone-vr th ings for 10 bucks. I'm thinking about getting it next time I stop by. 10 bucks! (Not google cardboard, but one that's compatible with it apparently, I forgot the name)

commandercool

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 11:34:08 pm »
Tried a Vive demo just now. I had to schedule a demo like six hours in advance and only had 15 minutes with it, but I didn't get it at all. Maybe 15 minutes just isn't enough time to understand the point, but I'm not sure why I'm supposed to want to buy a Vive now.

I played Superhot, which looks neat in theory, but it just felt like a very mediocre rails shooter where you have to flail your arms to move for some reason. I didn't get past the tutorial so I'm sure I didn't see the best it had to offer, but I don't feel like I'm in a hurry to. At least the Vive didn't make me motion sick like the PSVR did. But if the best I can say is that that it didn't make me physically ill then I'm definitely still missing something.
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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2018, 02:00:31 am »
whether it's a useful design tool or an expensive pointless gimmick

I suppose you still think it could be a most useful tool one day, even if we are not even close now. Am I wrong?

I know movement rigs exist for full-body motion

Would anybody like to spend some time on explaining “movement rigs” in more detail?

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2018, 02:57:47 am »
Personally, I got bored of VR last time they tried to make it a thing in the early aughts.

Selfishly speaking, I'd like it to crash and burn because I can't even play an FPS without getting a splitting headache. So something like VR is right out. And I'd be happiest if developers ignored it entirely to focus on making things I can use. But that's my selfish brain speaking, not necessarily policies I actually advocate. That said, it does seem like motion sickness is a reasonably common problem that people have? Which seems like a pretty formidable barrier to the whole deal really becoming a thing.

What interests me is that VR Chat jazz that's been going around lately. What's the deal with it?

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2018, 03:29:32 am »
I thought the whole motion sickness thing was caused by latency or something. Something which in theory should be reduced as the technology improves.

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2018, 09:27:29 am »
Would anybody like to spend some time on explaining “movement rigs” in more detail?

From the ones I remember, basically, you get strapped into a horizontal ring above a curved (elliptical?) surface. When you step as if to walk or run, the sensors on the surface note where the impact was and its follow-through, and move the character accordingly. You don't actually move, and the surface makes it so that your "stroke" has range of motion to actually complete the step.
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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2018, 09:59:11 am »
My friend has a PSVR and he got me to play a couple games with it, a Batman sim, a truck railshooter with clowns, and one of the Resident Evils. I was mightily impressed by the immersion I felt in the Batman game, it seemed much like a tech demo of VR over an actual game, but I dropped my controller the first time trying to set down one of the objects you can pick up and nearly did so again the second time. The illusion of Batman's hands being my hands was almost complete, it was pretty shocking. That left a good first impression. The railshooter was fine, but the Resident Evil did start giving me some motion sickness. My friend mentioned that he had some motion sickness too and he got over it eventually so maybe it's something you can get used to. Watching someone else play onscreen was very nauseating though.

Even if the ultimate application of VR/AR doesn't end up being for video games, I very much think that it has good potential of not being just a gimmick. When done right, the immersion is unreal. Something as simple as having HUDs and displays floating around the edges of your vision would be mighty helpful in certain games. I know in Splatoon for the Wii U I never looked down on my minimap because there was too much of a break in focus to swerve my gaze down like that, having the minimap floating around to the side would be nice.
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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2018, 01:26:26 pm »
Thanks a lot, Ionasal! I wonder how a staircase or ladder illusion would work in such a rig.

Even if the ultimate application of VR/AR doesn't end up being for video games, I very much think that it has good potential of not being just a gimmick. When done right, the immersion is unreal.

My thoughts exactly, but I only have second-hand knowledge so far. And since I am no friend of motion sickness, I might still want to wait for some years before actually trying...

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2018, 11:46:24 pm »
I thought the whole motion sickness thing was caused by latency or something. Something which in theory should be reduced as the technology improves.

If I recall correctly, VR Rigs have to render two 1080p 60fps screens to make sure players don't feel motion sickness, which as you might guess, can be quite technically intensive. Basically any fps drop will cause motion sickness.

Something as simple as having HUDs and displays floating around the edges of your vision would be mighty helpful in certain games. I know in Splatoon for the Wii U I never looked down on my minimap because there was too much of a break in focus to swerve my gaze down like that, having the minimap floating around to the side would be nice.

The problem with that approach is that if you intend to keep to something simple like that, it's actually better to stick to AR instead of VR, which is significantly cheaper to make, less technically intensive and has basically zero risk of causing motion sickness no matter what.

And that kind of brings me to the point of VR. Unfortunately the technology for all-out VR is straight up just not there yet, which is why I think that right now it will be a niche gimmick until we actually get the level of tech necessary for this kind of thing to hit mainstream. It's because of this that I wish that companies were focusing on Augmented Reality instead, but I also have to wonder how that kind of thing would actually work when applied to most games, so I can sort of see why they aren't doing it.

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2018, 06:02:58 pm »
Kinect:  The Next Generation

I'm in the same mindset as the OP, but with the added caveat of VR sets are way, way, WAA~AAY too expensive for something that would likely be collecting dust within an month.

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2018, 07:09:09 pm »
They do kind of give me Kinect chills, yeah.

I was SHOCKED to hear how much these things cost. To be fair, the physical hardware felt pretty robust and sturdy, but for the experience they feel like they're 3-4 times too expensive...
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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2018, 01:03:39 am »
By the time the experience is worthwhile, they’ve figured a dozen ways to produce lightweight, easy-to-break hardware.

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2018, 09:38:44 am »
I was SHOCKED to hear how much these things cost. To be fair, the physical hardware felt pretty robust and sturdy, but for the experience they feel like they're 3-4 times too expensive...
I'm in the same mindset as the OP, but with the added caveat of VR sets are way, way, WAA~AAY too expensive for something that would likely be collecting dust within an month.
Hm, the price didn't strike me as too ridiculous, given the price of gaming monitors. There are quite a few monitors that rival or even significantly exceed the price of the Vive. It's also a new generation of a technology, a significant upgrade from what existed before - considering that, I was surprised that they didn't cost even more (though this stance may very well be influenced by the aforementioned monitor pricing).



If I recall correctly, VR Rigs have to render two 1080p 60fps screens to make sure players don't feel motion sickness, which as you might guess, can be quite technically intensive. Basically any fps drop will cause motion sickness.

Unfortunately the technology for all-out VR is straight up just not there yet, which is why I think that right now it will be a niche gimmick until we actually get the level of tech necessary for this kind of thing to hit mainstream.
The bare minimum spec is actually 90 FPS, with 120 FPS being the preferred standard. 60 FPS minimums aren't too hard to attain, even at 2x 1080p resolution (and the current VR headsets each have a total resolution only 1.25x 1080p), but 120 FPS minimums are difficult to achieve even on "high-end" mainstream desktop CPUs with a good portion of contemporary software. We are indeed still quite a way off from both the software and mainstream hardware needed to make high-quality VR commonplace.



At the very least I think they are just plain practical once they become 'easy' technology to make of decent quality. There will be no need for you to get some big fancy 28 inch monitor for your gaming computer when you can have the same field of view (better actually) by sticking a smaller screen on your face, not to mention I imagine the cost of materials for making a smaller on your face OLED display or whatever the new hotness will be will cost less than making a giant OLED panel or whatever.
I guess I'm a dinosaur then, I'd like to stick with monitors for most applications. I like being able to simply look away from the screen :V

All things considered, though, I think VR is quite an interesting technology, and I look forward to future developments. One thing it has driven, for sure, is continued progress in both GPUs and display technology, which has benefits to graphics in and out of VR.

Anyway, just based on my intuition, I imagine it's not a gimmick in of itself, but most of its content will be like that. However, racing games that support it likely benefit greatly, as do horror games I imagine (real horror games, not vr-specific horror games).
Flight sims would also seem to be an optimal application of current VR technology, DCS being an existing example. For me, DCS VR alone almost makes the price of admission worth it, despite the limitations.


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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 06:07:16 am »
SmarterEveryDay did a video on a VR movement rig here if anyone's interested.
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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2018, 05:07:46 pm »
I'm a bit afraid that VR could end up being used by people to escape from the real world, so to speak, but it's probably silly because people who wanted to do that could do it with regular video games too. It probably wouldn't end up like Ready Player One or something, though. As for a practical application it could be used by people with movement disabilities to feel like they can go places they couldn't physically go to, or if they're working remotely because they can't spend a full day at the office or wherever they happen to be working, they could interact with their co-workers better. Also VR is used in hospitals by patients who could be in pain and it helps them not think about that pain. (I saw this on TV but google it yourself if you want to factcheck because I'm too lazy to do it myself as I'm writing this)

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Re: What do you think of VR?
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2018, 11:25:44 am »
SmarterEveryDay did a video on a VR movement rig here if anyone's interested.

Thanks alot, I watched that with interest.

As for escaping reality, “all you have to do is dream”. I believe there were serious concerns of some people abandoning reality for good when books became so affordable that it was theoretically possible to spend more time daily reading new books than working. Still, virtual reality as I imagine it to be within a few decades could bring about another new level of immersion. Does anybody know any hard facts supporting such claims as “video games have already caused more frequent and more total escapism than movies and television, and according to preliminary results, VR will take this a lot further”?
 

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